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Uzbekistan hosts two-day 'Central-South Asia conference'

By Ashoke Raj | Updated: Jul 15, 2021 14:38 IST

Tashkent [Uzbekistan] July 15 (ANI): Uzbekistan is all set to host a two-day high-level meeting in the capital city of Tashkent on July 15 and 16 to discuss the 'challenges and opportunities in Uzbekistan'.
Around 250 participants and 40 delegates from different countries will take part in the discussion, the conference is titled "The International Conference on Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities".
"This conference is very important for us, the main purpose of this conference to deepening cooperation between countries from Central Asia and South Asia in trade and energy issues and other brands of cooperation. We have inauguration sessions, plenary sessions, and many high-ranking delegations will also be there in the conference," Dilshod Saidjanov, First Deputy Director, Agency for Information and Mass Communications under the administrations of the president of Uzbekistan told ANI.
He also informed that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan PM Imran Khan, Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and other high-ranked leaders from Russia, Japan and the US will also participate in the conference.
"We are facing difficulties to reach out the sea since many years ago (I mean to the ocean) and we are expecting cooperation in trade routes and now we have to pass two countries to get the sea. That's why we are looking for a different face of transportation," Dilshod said.
He also expressed that Uzbekistan has worked with many countries that have played different roles for them. "But we are very near to Afghanistan than Pakistan, India, and China by the ocean. We need cooperation from South Asian countries."
Uzbekistan also expressed concerns about the war-torn situation in Afghanistan and wished it to be normalised soon.
"To the best of my knowledge to understand Afghanistan we have had normal economic trade earlier, economic development is the only way to make Afghanistan stronger and probably more peaceful. Everyone wants better development in Afghanistan. We agree with other countries in Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Asia, that we want normal trade in the region," said Saidjanov.
The city of Tashkent is decorated with flags and lights ahead of the Central-South Asia Summit. The main goal of the conference is to strengthen trust, good neighbourhood and friendly relations between the states of Central and South Asia.
Dilshod, while talking to ANI also informed that Uzbekistan started transportation from Mazar-e-Sharif Afghanistan and has planned to enter Pakistan to reach Karachi and different parts of South Asian countries. The reason behind economic cooperation between Central and South Asian countries is to secure this region for everyone.
The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev also proposed an initiative to strengthen regional connectivity in the context of the new open foreign policy strategy of Tashkent. The idea is aimed at further deepening economic cooperation in Central Asia, with access to South Asia, which has historically been closely linked to the country's social-cultural, and civilisations dimensions.
For better connectivity, Uzbekistan has established a railway route to Afghanistan and is planning to extend the railway line to Pakistan and other countries as well.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has also participated in the meeting. Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Manish Prabhat, while talking to ANI, stressed on the importance of the conference and what are India's expectations from the high-level visit.
He said, "India has been talking to all the countries for connectivity since the year 2000. Iran and Russia were working together along the north transport corridor. Today many countries work together. India wants every possible connection to be maintained in these countries."
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will also hold meetings with representatives of many countries on the sidelines of summit including Afghanistan, European Unions and Kazakhstan. (ANI)